2009 Volume 47 Issue 1 Pages 5-10
Whole body vibration exposure of the train drivers working for State Railway Lines is assessed by referring to ISO standard 2631 -1 and EU directive 2002/44/EC. The vibration measurements were done in the cabins of suburban and intercity train drivers. Suburban train driver performs his job usually in standing posture. Whereas intercity train driver works generally in seated (bending forward) posture and exposed to longer periods of continuous vibration, compared to suburban train drivers. The mean accelerations, a, along lateral, y, and vertical, z, directions measured on the driver seat (on the cabin floor) of the intercity (suburban) train were 1.4a y = 0.55 (0.28) m/s2 and a z = 0.65 (0.23) m/s2. Daily exposure action values suggested in EU directive are exceeded in case of intercity train drivers and their exposure falls within the health caution zone of ISO 2631-1. Intercity train drivers are therefore under the risk of having spinal disorders. A health surveillance plan requiring every five years the reassessment of the state of the spinal system of train drivers is suggested. As an early preventive measure, extended work day or more than one shift in a day is advised to be discouraged.